Film Screening – People and Their Virtue: “Man in Black” by Wang Bing
October 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Wang Bing’s first work made outside of China, this one-hour featurette boldly announces a new phase in the director’s career. Shot at the historic Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris, it stages a biographical encounter with eighty-six-year-old modern classical composer Wang Xilin, whose anti-Communist sentiments made him the target of intense persecution and abuse during the Cultural Revolution. Standing naked against the empty theater’s distressed architecture, the artist proceeds to sing, play piano, contort his scarred body into odd shapes, and eventually recount the torture he endured at the hands of Mao’s army—all while excerpts from his compositions erupt in irregular measures on the soundtrack. Working with a French crew that includes cinematographer Caroline Champetier and editor Claire Atherton, Wang adopts a newly liberated style in which the fluidity of the camera and montage acts as a fitting frame for the vivid expression of historical trauma.